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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the difficulties I have experienced is not having a model to go on in terms of how I should navigate my experience of social interaction. When and if you have encountered INFJ IRL, what is your experience of how difficult they find navigating the social realm? How would you compare this to your own experience of navigating social interaction?
 

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I had the chance to meet an INFJ recently. He was a speaker at a two-day outdoor convention where I was part of the organizers. This guy was at least 50 years old, his functions fully developed. Some observations:

1. He was quick to respond to social stresses without having the need to speak.
2. He had initiative and acted out his moral principles by setting himself as an example.
3. Expressive face and hands. Clear, sharp eyes.
4. He was reserved in social situations, though his eyes were alert. He spoke with depth and insight when the topic interested him.
5. He seldom talked about himself, and talked about other things besides himself.
6. People say he's a hermit, but I witnessed him being openly friendly, helpful, and resourceful.
7. There was a kind of restless tension in his body despite being laid back.
8. I spoke with him once, on an intellectual, big-picture level. We connected each other's dots and arrived at the same conclusions.
9. His body language was an open book. I think he was a little disturbed that I could see through him.
10. He was also a great cook and was very specific with the spices he used.
11. He indulged in extreme outdoor sports and fast cars. Also a collector of vintage stuff and antique.
12. He was too fit for his age and had this youthful quality.
13. He wasn't socially awkward at all. Just reserved I guess.

Another suspected INFJ I know. He's about 33 years old--

1. Quiet in social situations and seldom spoke. Socially inept especially among ESTPs.
2. Overly sensitive to harsh jokes. I saw him crying privately once after he was the butt of a joke among drunks.
3. He was an invisible commander/leader and always worked in the background.
4. Like the INFJ above, this one was also helpful, responsive, and resourceful.
5. Reliable in stressful social situations. First to think of a solution, especially in emergency cases.
6. His level of confidence fluctuated between commander and spineless, depending on the situation.
 

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I feel like ENTPs and INFJs relate in some aspects of social awkwardness; they both tend to be very shy/awkward as teens and later become more socially savvy as they grow older. ENTPs do this by becoming confident and learning to analyze social behavior, while INFJs become more outgoing and learn how to create healthy emotional connections. I find that as an ENTP, I'm often envious of the INFJs' ability to understand people on an emotional level and connect to them in such healthy ways. And my INFJ friends sometimes admire me for being bold and outgoing in new situations.

INFJs definitely tend to shut down more in social situations when they're uncomfortable; they might just not talk for a while or avoid people in general. ENTPs get a bit more crazy when they're uncomfortable, and will spew random words or emotions at people or become defensive. INFJs have more of a caretaker approach to social situations, and will always try to find a solution which diffuses everyone's emotions and creates harmony. ENTPs can be relentless, and if they aren't satisfied with what's going on in a social situation they might make a pretty big fuss about it until something is changed. I feel like ENTPs are more on the end of creating social change (sometimes in very rebellious and counter-cultural ways) and INFJs are more on the end of creating social harmony (even to the point of hurting themselves quite a lot for the sake of making others happy).
 
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I feel like ENTPs and INFJs relate in some aspects of social awkwardness; they both tend to be very shy/awkward as teens and later become more socially savvy as they grow older. ENTPs do this by becoming confident and learning to analyze social behavior, while INFJs become more outgoing and learn how to create healthy emotional connections. I find that as an ENTP, I'm often envious of the INFJs' ability to understand people on an emotional level and connect to them in such healthy ways. And my INFJ friends sometimes admire me for being bold and outgoing in new situations.

INFJs definitely tend to shut down more in social situations when they're uncomfortable; they might just not talk for a while or avoid people in general. ENTPs get a bit more crazy when they're uncomfortable, and will spew random words or emotions at people or become defensive. INFJs have more of a caretaker approach to social situations, and will always try to find a solution which diffuses everyone's emotions and creates harmony. ENTPs can be relentless, and if they aren't satisfied with what's going on in a social situation they might make a pretty big fuss about it until something is changed. I feel like ENTPs are more on the end of creating social change (sometimes in very rebellious and counter-cultural ways) and INFJs are more on the end of creating social harmony (even to the point of hurting themselves quite a lot for the sake of making others happy).
All this condensed:

My INFJ spouse: "it's more important to be tactful."

Me: "it's more important to be truthful."

I love that we often arrive to the same conclusions, but through completely different mental processes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
INFJ is used to getting knocked back when expressing their perspective
ENTP is used to playing with others' perspectives as though they were something out there in the world
INFJ's intuition by subjective experience can feel to them like they're always operating in another sphere
I can imagine this is frustrating to ENTP because it feels like they're operating at an inaccessible level
 
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